This month, bodies are everywhere, even when they aren’t. Exhibitions across New York delicately dissect the pervasiveness of the body in abstract and virtual space, address the constructed or glued nature of corporeality, explore the political potential of bodies in dialogue, and revel in the sheer absurdity of moving at around the world in one of those things. . Take care of yourself and enjoy.
When: until April 23
Or: Greene Naftali (508 West 26th Street, Ground Level, Chelsea, Manhattan)
Bait fisherman by day and painter by night, Forrest Bess (1911-1977) made symbolic abstractions inspired by an elaborate personal philosophy that linked hermaphroditism to immortality and inspired him to explore body modification. For Variants of Forrest Bess, contemporary artist Richard Hawkins, whose work grapples with bodily taboos via (counter)cultural reference points, has probed Bess’s lexicon through deep research, hypnagogy and Jungian active imagination. Hawkins’ painted and pasted variations on Bess’s work incorporate captions that interpret the meaning of specific colors – white means “penetrable” – and shapes – a black line is a “prostate stimulator” and « survey bar
When: to April 23 (Dates of performance: April 1, 8, 14, 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Or: Bridget Donahue (99 Bowery, 2nd Floor, Chinatown, Manhattan)
“Why were you so curt in your date reminder text?” comes a whisper from the loudspeaker hidden in a potted plant near an analyst’s couch. Comedic musical performer and obsessive list-builder Morgan Bassichis brings their subversive hilarity in a solo show setting with offerings spanning videos (“My dad once told me I’d grow up and have a line of saunas,” Bassichis informs us), informational brochures (“Questions to Ask Before Visiting Marfa”) and to-do lists (“To Do: Silent Meals (Conversation is Peer Pressure)”). The show will also include a live solo performance, “Questions to Ask Beforehand,” conducted by Tina Satter.
When: until April 30
Or: Nicola Vassell Gallery (138 10th Avenue, Chelsea, Manhattan)
Taking its evocative title from Gayle Jones Corregidora (1975), a novel about intergenerational trauma, Closed like a fist presents a group of 16 haunting digital collages and prints by Norwegian-Nigerian artist and sociologist Frida Orupabo. By pinning cut-out images, largely taken from colonial archives, Orupabo constructs anonymous and fragmented black female subjects, sometimes with white body parts. These characters spread their bat-like wings, smash black and white dolls under their feet, peer behind chairs, or hold an apple as if it were a gun in a Western shootout — or a present.
When: until May 7
Or: Sapar Contemporary (9 North Moore
Street StreetTribeca, Manhattan)
A master of the contemporary Mongolian zurag, Uuriintuya Dagvasambuu hails from a generation of Mongolian artists who revived a style of pictorial painting on secular and nationalistic themes that was suppressed for most of the 20th century under Soviet influence. Dagvasambuu’s fantastical, hyper-detailed paintings capture some of the surreality of the pandemic, remote work and online life: A the blue deity wears a mask of protection over each of his many faces; a dachshund spans two Zoom screens, simultaneously inhabiting the deep sea and a meadow; Phone home screen icons float above a roar of horses and sheep.
When: until May 7
Or: Ms. (60-40 56th Drive, Maspeth, Queens)
In his show centered on sculpture too bad for heaven, too good for hell, Rose Nestler approaches the quirkiness of femininity with an insightful wit and a keen sense of bodily humor. Wooden hands lift a tulle skirt to reveal a young woman/old woman optical illusion; a huge flowery conical brassiere presides over a curved, phallic red candle; a parade of red high-heeled shoes surrounding a frilly centerpiece evoke Hans Christian Andersen’s twisted fairy tale The Red Shoes. The exhibition also presents a new video work exploring the phenomenon of TikToks produced by women and dedicated to the satisfaction of playing with slime.
When: until May 7
Or: Yossi Milo Gallery (245 Tenth Avenue, Chelsea, Manhattan)
In historic-scale mosaics made of marble, stone, glass, paint, found objects, and tiles (some of which are cheekily printed to mimic marble), Brooklyn-based artist Cameron Welch brings a contemporary collage or graffiti style aesthetic to an ancient art form that has also enjoyed flat, graphic imagery at many times in its history. These monumental mosaics are densely filled with a temporally and thematically diffused iconography of cartoonish figures – ranging from a cross-eyed cowboy to an anti-police protester to a Modigliani-style nude – as well as animals, handprints , ceramic pots, skulls, blood, and smeared clothes.
When: April 6–September 5
Or: Whitney Museum of American Art (99 Gansevoort Street, Meatpacking, Manhattan)
Highly anticipated and slightly delayed, the 80th edition of the Whitney Biennale is the brainchild of Whitney Museum curators David Breslin and Adrienne Edwards, who chose to follow a “series of intuitions” about the present moment rather than a “unified theme. The presentation presents a list of artists as interdisciplinary as they are intergenerational: works by long-established artists such as Tony Cokes, Ralph Lemon and Yto Barrada can be found alongside those by newcomers such as Aria Dean and Andrew Roberts, and several figures often more associated with the literary arts – including Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, NH Pritchard and Steve Cannon – also have the opportunity to shine.
When: From April 14 to September 11
Or: El Museo del Barrio (1230 Fifth Avenue, East Harlem, Manhattan)
More than fifty years ago, artist and educator Raphael Montañez Ortiz, along with a coalition of community members, founded El Museo del Barrio to address the lack of local artistic representation for Latino and Caribbean creators. Today, the museum pays homage to Ortiz with an investigation spanning six decades of his work as an artist and activist. The exhibition includes early films and sculptures from destructivist performances and deconstructions of everyday objects, salvage works from ethnoaesthetics, and later participatory performances rooted in ritual and breathing.
When: April 23–June 26
Or: online and MoMA (11 West 53rd Street, Midtown, Manhattan)
Through multimedia installations and live performances, collaborators Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme create non-linear narratives that explore the politics of bodies in our endless – and endlessly catastrophic present. The duo’s evolving project May amnesia never kiss us on the mouth (2020-ongoing), which can be viewed as a multi-channel video installation at MoMA or experienced online via the Dia Art Foundation, grew out of a vast collection of found online recordings of song and dance in space audiences in Iraq, Palestine and Syria, and features new performances that the artists performed in tandem with musicians from Ramallah and a dancer.
When: from April 29 to July 10
Or: Japan Society (333 East 47th Street, Midtown East, Manhattan)
Shortly after moving to New York in her twenties in 1964, Tokyo-born artist Kazuko Miyamoto became Sol LeWitt’s studio assistant, joined the nonprofit women-run gallery AIR and, in span of a decade, got his first solo exhibition in New York at age 55. Mercier. Marking the first institutional survey of Miyamoto’s pioneering post-minimalist work, the Japan Society exhibition covers early paintings, string construction drawings, conceptual performances and performalist kimono pieces, tracing the evolution of the artist and her growing interest in exploring her own intersectional identity in her work.